October 11, 2018 at 2:57 pm #230427
Hi TB community,
Just wanted to see if anyone had an opinion or thought to share. This topic is difficult for me, being I have a ton of shame, embarrassment and regret around it. Thank you for taking the time to read it and comment, if so.
I was born with a larger nose than most that included a “bump.” I was always self conscious about it (got teased a lot). My Dad and Grandma had similar noses. I was always thinking about my nose, and thought, if I didn’t have this, then I could….(insert dream). Yet, looking back, my nose fit my face being it was long and thin as well. After college, I talked with my parents and scheduled a rhinoplasty appointment. I did my research, met the Doctor, and went through with it. It actually went well, and he fixed my deviated septum in addition. Afterwards, I was still “me,” but without the bump. Life goes on, things are fine.
Later on, my nose was a bit crooked, and I had the same doctor do a revision to straighten my nose, but it actually made it a bit worse. I then start dating someone I fell deep in love with and we are together for 4+ years. There were some shady things going on with him and other women, and even though it was extremely difficult, I broke up with him. This was 10 years ago, and it was the first time I went through a major depression (but didn’t realize it at the time). Oddly enough (or not), I focused completely on my nose, which makes me believe I have a form of body dysmorphia, and scheduled another surgery with a well renowned doctor in LA. This was shortly after the breakup, and I was in no condition to do this. I “made” my Mom go with me, and told her not to talk me out of it. The whole is ridiculous to me now. I spent a lot of money to have another surgery that I never should have had, and it actually made my nose look worse.
My nose is now short and wide, and doesn’t fit my face. I feel that I used to be somewhat pretty and now I can barely look myself in the face. I despise photos and smiling/laughing too much, being it looks odd on me now. I literally think about what I did every single day. I wake up at night and can’t sleep on a regular basis. I have gone to therapy, and it’s helped, but I still have all this regret. I feel like this has affected my relationships as well, being I have this underlying feeling of being a fraud, unauthentic, and have an identity crisis of sorts. I was born with a healthy body, and I should have honored that. I also regret that I spent all that money frivolously (rather than helping someone) . I am embarrassed around my family and feel so much shame for what I did. I actually avoid people I haven’t seen in the past 10 years, being I don’t want them to see what I look like now (being it’s so obvious). I have excelled at other places in my life, and have wonderful friends, good job, etc. But, I just can’t let this go, and give myself a break. I don’t understand why I did what I did. I am proud of heritage, and I blatantly changed my appearance. I try to eat/be healthy, but I can go have plastic surgery to alter my face? Ironically, it goes against what I believe in. I am ashamed of what I did, and I feel that it’s a sentence that I gave myself. I apologize for my ramblings, but has anyone experienced anything like this? From a Buddha perspective, can I make any sense of what I did? I don’t know how to “sit” with myself and be at peace with it. I don’t even know if that’s possible. It’s been at least 10 years of self loathing in this regard.
Thank you. xOctober 12, 2018 at 6:55 am #230507
I can relate, I too didn’t like my nose and a few other features of my body. What happens when that happens is that one feature, let’s say the nose, becomes The Focus. First thing you see in the mirror, or in a photo is that nose. It is as if everything is blurry except for that nose: there it is, as if magnified and in focus while the rest of the face is blurry and marginal. And then, away from the mirror and photos, as you socialize, you think (don’t you?) that everyone else is seeing the same as you do, basically, they all see The Nose.
It is difficult to undo this kind of focus, the brain is set this way. When you look in the mirror, try to see the rest of your face, focus on your eyes, forehead, elsewhere. Give other parts of your face equal time, take the nose of central stage. Every time you focus on your nose you encourage future focus. Every time you look elsewhere, you discourage that focus.
Remove the shame from your nose experience. You are not inauthentic now for not having your original nose. Your nose never defined you in objective terms, really. It was not who you were or who you are. It was only a nose.
Remove the shame and regret. You did the operations you did because you needed to feel better. And it could have been the way for you to feel better. It does work for some. There was no way for you to know that for you, it will not work out.
There is so much more to you than The Nose. It is only a nose.
I hope to read more from you.
anitaOctober 12, 2018 at 2:23 pm #230587
Thank you for taking the time to respond. I always enjoy reading your replies and appreciate them very much.
You are correct in what you said. And it can really be that simple. It is just a nose. I have spent so much energy worrying and analyzing it, that I have this odd trauma linked to my poor nose. I have made it into something so much more gradiose than it needs to be. It doesn’t need to define me. I will work on focusing my eyes on other areas of my face, along with focusing my thoughts on other things as well.
Thank you again. Take care, Anita.
xOctober 13, 2018 at 7:38 am #230679
You are welcome and thank you for your appreciation. Yes, a nose is just a nose. It is indeed a matter of focus and there is plenty about you more worthy of your focus.